We welcome your visit to UC Santa Cruz!
Many places and programs on campus are open to the public to tour, attend, and enjoy. Make sure to include some of these iconic campus spots on your visit for the full UCSC experience.

Students hanging out in Quarry Plaza.

Quarry Plaza and Amphitheater

Quarry Plaza is the heart of campus, a central hangout spot that includes the campus store, a café, the Student Union, student organizations, and more. Here you will often see fundraisers, protests, recruitments, and concerts. 

Quarry Amphitheater is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the Santa Cruz area, hosting convocations, rallies, and performances. The storied venue is also one of the most uniquely designed. Carved from a former lime quarry, tucked within redwoods and amidst rocky outcroppings, the asymmetrical terrace design offers breathtaking views.

Students running on the East Field over looking the Monterey Bay.

East Field and athletic facilities

The views go for days from UC Santa Cruz’s East Field, an expanse of green including baseball fields, an ultimate Frisbee course, sand volleyball courts, and more, all overlooking the Monterey Bay and ringed by a walking and running track—and, of course, contemplative benches.

dancers on stage in a line with a back light.

Performance, films, lectures and more

Campus and community members have access to theater, music, film, dance programs, and lectures throughout the academic year—all part of the the many transformational opportunities on campus. 

Students walking in to McHenry library

University Libraries

The McHenry and Science & Engineering libraries house the impressive collection of UCSC’s University Library. Most of the library’s resources may be used by the public.

Farm and Garden

The UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden are beloved nurturing grounds for both students and plants, providing training and research in organic horticulture and agriculture. Students, faculty, and researchers use both the Farm and Garden as research and teaching sites, and they are both open to the public.

Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The UCSC Arboretum is on a mission: to connect people with plants. This living museum is full of rare and unique plant species, and has long contributed to conservation research. There’s also a gift and garden shop, tours, and events.

Students on the beach collecting samples.

Coastal Science Campus

The UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science Campus is at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, three miles from the main campus, and includes research and educational facilities that support coastal conservation, marine biology, ecology, habitat restoration, and environmental policy.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center—where you can learn about marine life in Monterey Bay, touch a shark, and discover the science behind natural events—is open to the public. 

Art gallery with featuring and hanging exhibition.

Art galleries

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences galleries are off-campus, state-of-the-art facilities showcasing the institute’s groundbreaking exhibitions and programs, highlighting the work of major national and international artists working to address the most pressing issues of our day at the intersection of the arts and social justice.

On campus, the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery and the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery include work by contemporary artists and important collections of historic interest. 

There are also several smaller galleries at various campus sites, libraries, and coffeehouses. 

See for yourself

“From the trees to the seas”: UC Santa Cruz is famed worldwide for its redwood forests, breathtaking vistas, and the kind of serenity that expands the mind. Take a tour—in person or virtually—and see for yourself. 

Last modified: Jun 28, 2024